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Lt. General Joseph A. Ankrah

Ex-Head of State: 1966 - 1969

Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:

DOB: 18 August 1915 - 25 November 1992

Father's Name: Kofi Ankrah
Mother's Name: Beatrice Abashie Quaynor
Wife: left behind several wives
Children : 18
Education & Career Pattern
Wesleyan Methodist School, Accra

  • 1937: Cambridge School Certificate (keen sportsman during school days)
  • 1939: Mobilised into West Africa Frontier Force on the outbreak of World War Two
  • 1946: Officer Cadet Training Unit, UK
  • 1947: Commissioned Lieutenant (Within 14 years of his commissioning he rose through the ranks to become Lieutenant Colonel)
  • 1960(August): Appointed Colonel (This was a high achievement then because there were few Ghanaians in his officer corps and Ankrah had to compete with a host of British officers to earn the promotion)
  • 1960 - 1961: UN Peace-Keeping Force in Congo, Brigade Commander of force based in Lutuaborg, Kasai.
  • 1961: Awarded the Military Cross for acts of unsurpassed gallantry in Congo.
  • 1961: Promoted Brigadier. He performed his duties with such distinction that he was promoted Major General and appointed Deputy Chief of Defence Staff.
  • 1966: As a result of his excellent soldiering qualities, Ankrah was recalled from enforced retirement following the February 1966 coup to be Head of State. As Chairman of the NLC, Ankrah became Commander-In-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces following the death of Kotoka.
  • 1969: Was forced to resign as Chairman of NLC and Head of State over a bribery scandal involving Franz Nzerebe, a Nigerian businessman. Results of an opinion poll conducted by Nzerehe, contracted by the NLC for that purpose, showed Ankrah as the most popular person in Ghana from a field of prominent people including Afrifa and Busia. A commission of enquiry revealed that "monies changed hands" between Ankrah and Nzerebe which might have influenced the outcome of the polls. Ankrah was forced to resign.
  • 1992(November): Died of natural causes.